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Excellence in the humane use of animal research

Excellence in the humane use of animals in research, testing and teaching recognised

A senior lecturer in veterinary neurophysiology at Massey University has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) Three Rs Award.

Dr Craig Johnson received the award in recognition of his work in developing a specialised anaesthesia technique and adapting it to a variety of applications in animal welfare research.

NAEAC selected Dr Johnson’s work from several high calibre nominations. The committee considered Dr Johnson’s anaesthesia technique to have a far-reaching effect across all species, with a focus on reduction and refinement of animal use.

The concept of the Three Rs, from which the award takes its name, is to replace live animal subjects, reduce the number of animals used and refine experimental techniques to minimise pain and distress.

“The Three Rs are the cornerstone of the ethical use of animals in research, testing and teaching,” said NAEAC chairperson, John Martin. “This award celebrates achievements in the implementation of the Three Rs and promotes the concept within the scientific community and to the wider public.”

“Dr Johnson’s research contributes significantly to the refinement of methodology in pain research. His technique can be applied to a wide range of species and allows conclusions about the efficacy of methods of pain relief to be drawn using fewer animals and without causing pain in any of them” Mr Martin said.

This national award is co-ordinated by NAEAC and is now in its fourth year. It is made to an individual, group or institution within New Zealand that epitomises best practice with regard to the Three Rs.

The award was presented at the Royal Society of New Zealand’s annual Science Honours Dinner in Auckland last night.

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